The UCSB men’s tennis team played in the Bulldog Classic Tournament last weekend at Fresno State University, as four newcomers and two returning lettermen got a taste of the upcoming season. The hard-hitting tournament is the second competition of the pre-season tournaments, and only the top-ranked teams are allowed to compete. Among the qualified teams were UCLA, USC, Cal, UW, UNLV and Oregon.

All of the newcomers got at least one win under their belt, getting their feet wet in college tennis. Freshman Elad Stern, UCSB’s top recruit, lost his first round to junior Greg Shearer of FSU 6-4, 6-0. He moved on to win the first round of the backdraw 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 against sophomore Aaron Yovan of UCLA. However, he lost in the second round 6-3, 6-3 to freshman Daniel Chu of UW.

“The whole tournament was a bit of a shock. The atmosphere was extremely competitive, and it’s obvious that improvement is needed overall. I do think that Coach [Marty] Davis was very helpful and accommodating. It’s obvious that the team has great chemistry, and I am quite optimistic about the future,” Stern said.

UCSB freshman Nick Edlefsen from Minnesota lost his first round match against USC sophomore Brian Wright 6-2, 6-0. With a remarkable comeback, he moved on to win the first round of the backdraw 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 against John Pettit. Wright then fell to Aaron Spencer 6-2, 7-6 in the second round of the backdraw.

UCSB transfer Matt Coin did an amazing job, winning his first round match against junior Niclas Otte from UOP, UCSB’s #4 Big West rival, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. Due to an injury, he was forced to retire 6-2, 4-1 in the second round against Martin Marechal of St. Mary’s.

“We played fairly well overall. However, I do think that we have potential to do a lot better in the future,” Coin said.

Freshman Chris Wetzig played an outstanding match in his second round, beating Rafael Stupka of Nevada 6-1, 6-3. Unfortunately, he lost in the third round to Carlos Malet of LMU 6-7, 6-4, 6-4.

UCSB’s second year returning letterman Michael Frick lost to junior Alberto Francis of UCLA 6-1, 6-1. Earlier, he lost the first round of the backdraw 6-3, 7-6 to top seeded Sven Swinnen of Oregon.

Sophomore Leo Basica played a breathtaking three-set match against Kuni Minato of Cal, beating him 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in the first round. He then moved on to the second round, losing to freshman Nico Ternen of LMU 6-3, 6-2.

The UCSB’s doubles team didn’t have as much success Frick and Coin were forced to default due to Coin’s injury. Wetzig and Basica lost to Corazza and Fuller of USF 8-3 and Stern and Edlefsen lost in their first round to USD’s Koristovic and Plotnik 8-6.

“This tournament provided a great opportunity for our new team members to experience top level Division I tennis. They all got at least one win, which was great. They also learned that they have a lot to work on for the future,” Head Coach Marty Davis said.

The Gauchos will have to play their best tennis in this year’s ITA Regionals, an important fall tournament hosted by USC, as they prepare to battle against teams from all around the nation starting on Oct. 22.